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Redefining Beauty

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If you've watched TV, read a magazine, or seen any type of advertising in the last week (and really, who hasn't) then you've likely seen at least one or two ads telling you that you aren't pretty enough, you aren't thin enough, you're hair isn't shiny enough, or your teeth aren't white enough.

What would happen if suddenly we all started to love ourselves just the way we are? I'm not suggesting that you stop taking care of yourself -- lose some weight if that's an issue for you, brush your teeth, take care of your skin -- what I'm suggesting is that we all start loving and appreciating ourselves.

Stop letting the media define beauty for you. So what if you'll never look like Kim Kardashian? Kim Kardashian doesn't even look like Kim Kardashian! Airbrushing and Photoshop have done wonders to make those magazine spreads look so amazing, but beauty goes beyond that.

Beauty is subjective. Everyone doesn't find Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Denzel Washington, or Jennifer Aniston attractive. The ancient philosophers that said, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder," had it right!

So the question then becomes, "Who gets to decide what is beautiful?" Why are you allowing someone else to tell you what you should look like? Why would you allow anyone (especially a company trying to sell you a product) define your beauty? Imagine how many companies would go out of business if we all just started to love and accept what God gave us.

Here's a novel idea for switching your mindset. Instead of focusing on what your body looks like, let's start focusing on what our bodies can do. I am not, by the standard definition, beautiful, but every time I lace up my sneakers and run a marathon, I'm amazed at the sheer power and stamina of my body.

Right now, as you are reading this, are you thinking about your lungs? What about your heart? Are you thinking about your liver, really; no love for the liver? Do you know why you aren't thinking of those things? Because you don't have to! Your body is an incredible machine; it knows what to do and when to do it without you having to think about it. Your heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, ears, and everything else in your body, has a specific job and it just does it.

Why not start to be appreciative of this miraculous machine? Why not appreciate beauty at this level?

Stop trying to look like someone else and strive to be the best version of yourself. Strive to take excellent care of yourself by getting back to the basics. Eat healthy food, get enough rest, exercise, and pay close attention to your personal hygiene. Don't tie your beauty to a size on your clothes, or a number on your scale, don't wait to love yourself!

We take care of things that we value. Last year, I bought my first brand new car. I take excellent care of that car because I love and value it so much. It's amazing to me that people are more concerned about the gas they put in their cars than the food that they put in their bodies. We need to view ourselves as valuable, and take care of ourselves accordingly.

I encourage all of you to come up with your own definition of beauty, and please, make sure that your definition includes all the things you don't see. Be sure to include your kindness, your spirit, your zest for life, and your passion. Be sure your definition of beauty includes a daily appreciation of all the wonderful things your body does. And maybe, just maybe, squeeze in a little love for your liver!

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